25 September 1888
Dr. Forbes Winslow vouches for the following, which he communicates this morning to The Times:-
"My sister in law and her daughter were walking up Norton road, Brighton, when a strange looking man, dressed in a brown pea jacket and cap, about the medium height, suddenly fell down to his knees right in front of them and produced from his pocket a large bowie knife, which he commenced sharpening on the flagstone before them. Naturally alarmed, they hurried home and informed me of what had happened. It was too late, however, to capture the man, who hurried down the Western road. I immediately gave information to the police. The circumstance, to my mind, is of sufficient significance at the present time to draw public attention to it."
THE VICTIM'S LOVER MISSING
LONDON OFFICER INVESTIGATING
RESEMBLANCE TO THE WHITECHAPEL CRIME
It is impossible to adequately describe the excitement which prevails in Birtley and the surrounding district. A terror seems to have seized the little village, and to have paralysed its ordinary energy. Further particulars by no means diminish the fiendish brutality of the crime, and the circumstances disclosed are sufficient justification for the thought which was uppermost in everybody's mind when the news first became known, that the Whitechapel murderer had been at work. The local police, however, cast their suspicions upon a man who is an ironworker at Birtley, who for some time past has been, it is said, endeavouring to force his attentions upon the deceased. This man was very seldom seen in Beetmoor's company, and certainly no one saw him on Saturday night. He has, however, absconded and the police in all parts of the country have been furnished with his description. He is described as a man about 5ft 9in in height, with a sallow complexion, high cheek bones, and generally sharp features. He has a slouching, stooping gait, and a furtive expression. No reason can be assigned to suggest why he should have committed the outrage upon the unfortunate girl, but the police are anxiously searching for him, and the circumstances of his departure in connection with the murder are regarded as rendering his disappearance suspicious.
The most vigilant search so far, however, has failed even to discover the slightest trace of him. There is now an impression that if he has been guilty of the terrible crime he may also have taken his own life, and acting on the theory the police are making an investigation of some disused pitshafts in the neighbourhood, in which he may have committed suicide. As yet, however, the belief that Beetmoor may have been killed by her sweetheart is not supported by any tangible evidence, but rests entirely on the suspicion aroused by his mysterious disappearance at the very time of the murder. A search has also been made by the police for the weapon with which the murder must have been committed, but without result.
The police in the neighbourhood have not abandoned the theory that the Whitechapel murderer may have continued his dreadful work there. Dr. Phillips, who made the post mortem examination of the body of Annie Chapman, the victim of the last Whitechapel murder, is today in Durham in connection with the crime. He has examined the body of the young woman with a view to ascertaining whether the injuries inflicted on her resemble those inflicted on the Whitechapel victim. Inspector Roots, of the Criminal Investigation Department, also left London last evening for Durham with the object of ascertaining whether any of the facts connected with the murder of Jane Beetmoor on Saturday night are likely to be serviceable in elucidating the Whitechapel mysteries.
A Newcastle on Tyne Correspondent telegraphs:-
Dr. Phillips, of Scotland yard, this morning met Colonel W. White, Chief Constable of the county of Durham, and Superintendent Harrison, of the Birtley district, and visited the scene of the murder. The body of the deceased was examined by Dr. Phillips, but the result of the examination has not transpired. The work of exploring the old pitshafts in the neighbourhood continues, the police being assisted by several miners. The impression gains ground that Waddle, or Tweddle, the supposed murderer, may have committed suicide. Search for the knife or other weapon is also being continued.
A Newcastle telegram states that the police issued notices today for the apprehension of a young man named Waddle, the sweetheart of the murdered woman at Birtley, and who has disappeared from the district since the tragedy.